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7 Concepts from Over 100 Marketing & Sales Books Every Marketer Should Know
Hello. It’s great to be able to make this presenta5on via webinar for all those who
were not able to a9end the recent Triangle Marke5ng Club meetup where I made the
My name is Douglas Burde9 and I’m the founder and principal of a marke5ng agency in Norfolk,
Virginia called Ar5llery.
A bit about my background: I went to VMI. I then served as U.S. Army ﬁeld ar5llery oﬃcer overseas for
three years, came back and got an MBA and then went to work in adver5sing on New York City’s
Madison Avenue at some of the biggest ad agencies in the world.
My ﬁrm started out as a tradi5onal adver5sing agency but a few years ago when I started to no5ce the
rapidly declining power and eﬀec5veness of paid adver5sing, I pivoted the ﬁrm away from that and
toward inbound and content marke5ng to help clients generate leads for their sales forces.
And I men5on that because I had to learn new things and update my skills in order to survive. There is
a lesson there for all marketers (and salespeople). Charles Darwin said it’s not the strongest who
survive - it’s the most adaptable.
I’m also the host of The Marke5ng Book Podcast where each week I publish an interview with the
author of a new marke5ng or sales book.
The podcast has published over 125 interviews and it has been named by LinkedIn as “One of 10
Podcasts That Will Make You A Be9er Marketer”
So I’ve read lots and lots of sales and marke5ng books, which I enjoy doing, and today I’d like to share
with you a few key insights to help everyone be9er understand what’s going on in sales and marke5ng
so that you and your organiza5on can be more successful.
Not too long ago there was a study by the Fournaise Group about percep5ons of
marketers by CEOs.
Who can guess what percent of CEOs trust marketers. (20%)
And why do you think they don’t trust marketers?
Because CEOs believe marketers are too disconnected from the ﬁnancial reali5es of
In “The 12 Powers of a Marke5ng Leader” the authors ﬁelded one of the largest
studies of marketers and the people who work with them and revealed some juicy
insights like this...
Early in our study, we spoke with Interna5onal CMOS about their work, asking “what
do you do?” It was interes5ng how diﬀerent people answered. Some said things like,
“I manage the brand” or “I run our marke5ng.”
Words like these don't go down well with company leaders. In the words of marke5ng
professor and columnist Mark Ritson, “Too many marketers go into a room full of
execu5ves from their company and warble on about the need to build brand
awareness and brand equity. No one gives a f***, except you – and presumably you
are already on board. Good marketers work out how to link what they do with what
other stakeholders within the organiza5on want – employee reten5on, improved
proﬁts, clearer leadership.”
OK, so what percent of marketers do CEOs trust? (20%)
And what percent of marketers do CEOs NOT trust? (80%)
Tonight I’m going to talk to you about how to get into that 20% of marketers who
According to Malcolm McDonald in his recently published 2nd edi5on of “Malcolm
McDonald on Marke5ng Planning,” (his 46th book) there are only two ques5ons that
need to be answered in a marke5ng plan.
And if you as a marketer start with the answers to these two ques5ons in a marke5ng
plan, you will ﬁnd yourself in that 20% of marketers trusted by your CEO,
management and colleagues.
Here are the two ques5ons that your marke5ng plan should answer.
2 ques5ons from Malcolm McDonald:
What are your key target markets in order of priority?
In your key target markets, what is your company’s sources of diﬀeren5al advantage?
With a nod to marketers’ obsession with all things digital and the word “digital,”
Malcolm McDonald explains that,
Almost every course/seminar/workshop today has the word ‘digital’ in its 5tle. The
problem, however, is that unless a company has a robust strategy for what it sells and
to whom, it is impossible to have a digital strategy. ... without proper, needs-based
segmenta5on ..., any digital strategy will be ineﬀec5ve. There is a well-known cartoon
showing the Chief Marke5ng Oﬃcer addressing the board and in answer to the
ques5on about why net proﬁts are down by 30%, says: “Yes, that is a pity, but the
good news is that our likes or Facebook have doubled!”
“Without a winning strategy for products and markets, it is impossible to have an
eﬀec5ve digital strategy.”
What is the most powerful marke5ng available?
And how do you get good word of mouth?
Go in the chat pane and tell me if you’ve ever had a really bad customer experience.
(Airlines and cable companies don’t count).
Who here has ever taken to social media or posted an online review about that bad
experience? You’re not alone.
You’re not alone. As Daniel Lemin says in his book “Manipurated”
“Before the rise of online ra5ngs and reviews (ah, the good old days), customer
feedback – good and bad – was a mostly one-on-one aﬀair. Customers communicated
complaints or praise to you directly, giving you the chance to respond appropriately.
With the rise of online ra5ngs and reviews, businesses now face a plaborm that
allows virtually anyone to say anything about your business to everyone on the
internet, regardless of truth or fairness.”
This has lead to a heightened interest in engineering a be9er customer experience. I
have interviewed several authors of books about how to engineer a more proﬁtable
So why do companies really want to engineer a be9er customer experience? Is it
because they don’t like being yelled at? Why?
Does the name Willy Su9on ring a bell? Does anyone know who Will Su9on was? (a
bank robber). A reporter once asked him why he robbed banks, and who knows what
his answer was? (It’s where the money is).
The reason for this interest in customer experience is that’s where the money is.
In Nicholas Webb’s book “What Customers Crave” he explains that…
70% of Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide an
excellent customer experience.
Plus, keeping your customers is where the really big money is:
The probability of selling to a new prospect is less than 20%, while the probability of
selling to an exis5ng customer is 60 to 70 percent.
On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 5mes as much as their ﬁrst purchase.
The experience you give your customers is your most powerful marke5ng.
In the business-to-business marke5ng and sales world, that is probably the most
talked about percentage. Who can tell me what that 57% is referring to. (It’s how far
B2B buyers are in their buyers journey before ﬁrst contac5ng a seller.)
Previously when a buyer was doing their research they had to go to the seller fairly
early in their buying journey in order to get informa5on. At that point the seller could
guide (or strong arm) the buyer along their journey in return for informa5on. Think
about the old days of buying a car.
Buyers always hated having a pound of ﬂesh extracted by the seller in return for
informa5on. Now buyers can do a lot of their research online before they ﬁnally have
to talk to the seller.
I men5oned 57% - that is based on CEB’s study. Forrester and others have es5mated
that the percent may be as high as 90%. (It varies by industry of course).
So buyers don’t want to talk to your salespeople and you omen don’t know they are
researching un5l they pounce out of the darkness like a ninja, fully-informed and
ready to kill you on price. What can you do?
Get on the lem side of that 57%. Get found online by publishing helpful insights to aid
in your buyer’s research. You ﬁsh where the ﬁsh are.
That’s what a lot of the content that I’m going to speak about in a few minutes is all
Let’s talk about the great divide. In many companies the rela5onship between sales
and marke5ng are like warring or former spouses.
Many sales people perceive marketers as arts and crams party planners who work in
the “make it pre9y department.”
Marke5ng may perceive sales as a bunch of lazy, undisciplined, short-sighted
cowboys who shoot from the hip and don’t use any of the content that marke5ng has
produced for them and don’t follow up on the leads marke5ng has helped generate.
BUT because the buyer prefers to consume more of your company’s content in the
course of a purchase before talking to sales, that is why marke5ng is playing a bigger
role in the sales process.
It’s as if there’s a gravita5onal force that is pulling sales and marke5ng together to
work more closely as a result of the changing way your customers buy now.
There are no downsides of marke5ng and sales working more closely together.
Here’s why. According to research from analyst ﬁrm SiriusDecision, companies with
sales and marke5ng aligned achieved 19% faster growth, and 15% higher proﬁts.
The key to sales and marke5ng alignment? Put marke5ng and sales under one
department and call it “Team Revenue.”
In “Aligned to Achieve: How To Unite Your Sales and Marke5ng Teams into a Single
Force for Growth,” the authors Tracy Eiler and Andrea Aus5n explain
“sales can't do it alone and marke5ng exists to make it easier.”
So all you need to do is publish remarkable, helpful, educa5onal content on your
website, right? WRONG!
Aaron Ross is the co-author of the sales bible of Silicon Valley, “Predictable Revenue.”
In his second book, “From Impossible to Inevitable” he explains that there are three
types of leads that your company should be pursuing.
Seed, nets and spears.
“Seeds” are many-to- many leads, created from word-of- mouth, networks and
rela5onships. Usually grown through crea5ng happy customers who refer others, and
who remain as customers for years.
“Nets” are one-to- many marke5ng campaigns, including the now-popular
approaches of content and inbound marke5ng.
“Spears” are targeted outbound prospec5ng or business development campaigns.
Usually a human is involved, working through a targeted list, calling, emailing or using
any other technique that helps them make contact and get appointments.
So if you are working for a company that is not pursuing all three types of leads
(seeds, nets and spears), you need to step up and start advoca5ng for that.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever caught a mouse. How did you catch it?
Did you put anything on the trap to a9ract the mouse?
For a long, long 5me businesses could interrupt their way into the a9en5on of their
prospec5ve customers. More or less there was a somewhat cap5ve audience and if
you wanted to reach them you simply had to go through a gatekeeper and
buy your way into reaching their audience (adver5sing),
beg your way into geqng the media to talk about your company (PR),
or simply bug your way in (direct sales).
Now you can s5ll do these things but they are drama5cally less eﬀec5ve at reaching
people because of marke5ng interrup5on avoidance technology.
Who can give me an example of marke5ng interrup5on avoidance technology?
(answers - caller id, DVRs, pop up blockers, satellite radio, etc).
Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen the movie “Monty Python and The Holy Grail.”
Do you remember the scene where King Arthur and his Knights go up to a castle and
want to get in but are spurned by the French soldier on the parapet? The soldier
played by John Cleese Insults them and said things like “your mother was a hamster
and your father smelled of elderberries.“
That is the metaphor for trying to reach your customers in this modern era.
They are not going to lower the drawbridge and let you in the castle unless you can
oﬀer them something helpful, entertaining or educa5onal.
And that's where content marke5ng comes in.
In Joe Puliizzi’s book Epic Content Marke5ng he deﬁnes content marke5ng this way…
Content marke5ng is a strategic marke5ng approach focused on crea5ng and
distribu5ng valuable, relevant, and consistent content to acract and retain a clearly-
deﬁned audience — and, ul5mately, to drive proﬁtable customer ac5on.
But there’s a growing challenge with content marke5ng. Who can tell me what that
big challenge is for content marke5ng?
According to Eric Schmidt, the Execu5ve Chairman of Alphabet (the parent company
of Google), we create as much informa5on in two days now as we did from the dawn
of man through 2003.
Mark Schaefer has dubbed this phenomenon “Content Shock.” And in his book “The
Content Code” he explains that the build-it-and-they-will-come approach no longer
applies and that to get past the glut of content out there you must now take
addi5onal steps to get your content to break through, connect with the right people
and have them take ac5on.
Some of the added complexity to addressing content shock include using paid media
to promote your content, inﬂuencer outreach, and mobilizing your audience to share
The produc5on of your content is really just the star5ng line now.
In modern marke5ng it's omen said that all companies are now media companies and
that to be successful in content marke5ng you need to “think like a publisher.”
One of the most helpful paradigms for content marke5ng is to think ﬁrst and always
about building and keeping an audience before trying to sell to them.
Another marke5ng paradigm that the New York Times has dubbed “a revolu5onary
marke5ng approach” is to answer your customer's ques5ons.
In Marcus Sheridan’s book “They Ask You Answer” he explains how his Virginia pool
company was saved from bankruptcy following the 2008 real estate crash by simply
publishing the answer to every ques5on he’d ever go9en from a customer. Even
ques5ons about price, and the pros and cons of his product.
Doing so enabled his company’s website to become the highest traﬃcked pool site in
But more importantly, his customers’ fear of buying from his company plummeted
while their trust soared.
So what is the holy grail for crea5ng content that will help your company get found
online, and build traﬃc, trust, leads and sales?
It’s a focus on your buyer persona. In Adele Revella’s book Buyer Personas, she
“In the simplest terms, buyer personas are examples or archetypes of real buyers that
allow marketers to crae strategies to promote products and services to the people
who might buy them.”
As I men5oned earlier, understanding and focusing your business on the latent
anxie5es and desires of your customers is remarkably diﬃcult for most companies.
But those companies with deep understanding of their customers are able to not only
produce content that connects, persuades and sells, it also provides compe55ve
insights that are the quickest route to faster and more proﬁtable growth.
In a study by Adobe, a remarkable 76% percent of marketers thought marke5ng has
changed more in the previous two years than the past 50.
So while marke5ng has changed a lot recently, it has also become much more
That’s why in that same study, 68% of marke5ng professionals feel more pressured
to show return on investment on marke5ng spend.
So what are some things to be measuring?
As a ﬁrst step toward connec5ng marke5ng ac5vity with revenue, the authors of
“Aligned to Achieve” recommend focusing on pipeline.
Pipeline refers to the opportuni5es the sales team believes could convert into
revenue. This is diﬀerent from leads, people who have expressed very early interest,
because pipeline holds actual opportuni5es that are qualiﬁed through both the
marke5ng and sales process.
As it relates to all that content marke5ng and its connec5on to pipeline and
revenues, I recommend reading Michael Brenner’s book “The Content Formula:
Calculate the ROI of Content Marke5ng & Never Waste Money Again.” In the book he
walks you through all the easy math of measuring the eﬀec5veness of your content
In a similar vein, in Paul Roetzers book “The Marke5ng Performance Blueprint” he
oﬀers this advice regarding marke5ng:
If you can't measure it, don't do it.
And with a nod to an example of meaningless metrics, he reminds us
“Social media reach is a decep5ve metric that can give a false sense of progress.”
Peter Drucker famously said “What gets measured gets improved.” So I urge you to
measure more...but think about what you’re measuring because as Albert Einstein
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted
counts." -Albert Einstein
So back to the ﬁrst book I talked about “The 12 Powers of a Marke5ng Leader.” I
talked earlier about the disconnect many marketers have with their companies. But
here is what the successful marketers are doing...
“Our interviews with the most successful marketers have one thing in common: a top
management viewpoint. Rather than talking about marke5ng, they spoke of the
business as a whole. They didn't talk a lot about adver5sing, branding, or customer
insights. They spoke about revenue, costs, and proﬁt – and how they could serve the
customer becer. The real marke5ng leaders were concerned with one thing: how
marke5ng helps the company achieve its biggest priori5es.”
Addi5onally, that same book talks, as do so many about the skills gaps when the
authors said… 21st century marke/ng is suﬀering from a skills crisis.
It’s for this reason that the marke5ng salaries of marketers who know what the hell
they’re doing are predicted to double in the next ﬁve years.
And there’s another silver lining for marketers: the role of marketer is becoming a
training ground for CEOs. With successful marketers having the deepest insights into
the customers, the compe55on and revenues, a growing number of CEOs are coming
from the ranks of CMOs, and according to Gartner, that trend will con5nue.